Coaches Corner: Hager, Bosch great coaches from N.D.
Hello sports fans. I'm here to entertain you for a minute of two if I can. I'd like to give you a little bit different tilt on Yuma area sports. I've coached in Yuma for 28 years and I've been interviewed by 28 different reporters. They have all been wonderful but they leave too quickly to get a flair for Yuma athletics.
Sometimes a different slant on sports might interest fans. Oldies but goodies, kids that may not get recognized, or human interest stories from a different perspective. We all get out sports news from ESPN and I'm not going to comment on the NBA, NFL, MLB, PGA or twelve other acronyms. I am here for Yuma and what affects Yuma sports.
Ladies and gentlemen, my major was not journalism. This article was hand written because I type with two fingers — slowly. My computer skills are prehistoric, but I have learned to read e-mail. If you have ideas, people, or groups you would like to read about, tell me. If you think this idea stinks, and I'm a poor writer, tell me. I've told refs the same thing about their work for years. So here goes, “The Linton Lions.”
Linton, N.D., has a population of 1,000 people and is 2,000 miles from Yuma. How did Yuma get two high school teammates from Linton to coach at Cibola and Gila Ridge? The answer is very interesting.
Justin Hager and Derek Bosch are Linton Lions. They played football and basketball together at Linton High School under the direction of two North Dakota Hall of Fame coaches — Dan Imdieke and Dan Carr. Imdieke has won four state titles in football, and Carr recently won his 600th basketball game as well as four state titles. But numbers don't tell you the story of what Hager and Bosch learned from their coaches and their town. Hard work, determination, loyalty, perfect practice makes perfect play, dedication and attention to details are the essentials they coach by. Carr and Imdieke had a huge part of their development.
How do I know all of this information? They both made a short stop at Antelope Union High School where they both coached football and basketball for me. Justin from 2001 to 2003. Derek from 2004 to 2007. They brought their values and coaching style that had Linton, North Dakota written all over it. I'm glad I didn't corrupt them or give then any bad habits. The Yuma schools called and both went on to take 5A head coaching jobs at Cibola (Hager) and Gila Ridge (Bosch).
Bosch can basically be described as an “All-American boy.” He is clean cut and handsome. His wife, Jennifer is beautiful and their daughter Jaida is adorable. Bosch is a fundamentally sound coach, teacher and person. I knew Derek would make a fine head coach after one year at Antelope. He laughed at my jokes and stories — grounds enough for a head coaching job.
Derek loves basketball and all that it entails. Hard work, sound practice, dedication to the sport. Be a good student and a good teammate — that's what Bosch preaches. I didn't ask him for a quote, I know what he says. Bosch is the first Gila Ridge boys basketball coach, and a good one. Good hire Jamie Sheldahl.
Hager is the Felix Unger of coaches (young readers, Felix was neat and meticulous). How neat you ask? I don't know another male human being that scrubs the baseboards of a rented apartment. How meticulous, you ask? The pleats in his coaching pants are afraid to wrinkle for fear of what the he would do to them with his iron. I can goof on “Hags” all day but I can't goof on a coach that has won more than 200 games in eight years. Sports fans, there aren't that many coaches in Yuma history that have that many wins in such a short time. Hager has taken his Linton training to the hardwood at Cibola and made his girl's basketball team a power house. Attention to details, sound practice, dedication to the sport, be a good student and teammate — like Bosch, Hager preaches the same things. Hager is backbone of Cibola High girls basketball program. Good hire, Faith Klostreich.
Linton may be 2,000 miles away, but Yuma can feel affect that the “Linton Lions” have had on basketball. Justin and Derek have two completely different personalities, but their coaching philosophies are strikingly similar. We are fortunate to have two fine young men coaching our kids.
Thank you Dan Imdieke and Dan Carr and of course Linton.
John Blabe is the athletic director and head football coach at Antelope High School and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.